SME Focus

Mar 16, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Standard Chartered Bank is planning to double business from small and medium enterprises over the next three years with a specially tailored platform of products and services, officials said. Rajeev Chalisgaonkar, head of SME in South Asia said in India, deposits and advances in the business segment grew 46 percent a year, between the year of 2006 to 2010.

Chaya Jayawardene, who heads distribution and SME Banking said the sector represented more than 25 percent of the local branch’s retail business after two years of operation and they hoped to grow it to over 50 percent in the next three years.

SME banking operates as part of its retail operations as the service ties in with its 10-branch network and also allows the bank to provide services to the owners and staff she said.

SME customers get a tailored version of the bank’s ‘Straight2Bank’ branded platform which has internet banking, mobile access and allows a range of functions including cashflow management, outsourcing payments and payroll, Jayawardene said.

SME’s which do not have large finance department had already found the product very useful, because it was simplified, she said. The businesses targeted could have